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Iran sanctions: special focus

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Euromoney investigates how the relaxation of western sanctions on Iran – dubbed the world’s most lucrative closed economy – will jump-start trade and capital flows from Europe to the Gulf, and plots a vision for the country's banking system and economic transformation, more generally.

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Country Awards for Excellence 2016: Middle East
June 2016
Iran best bank: The financial year under consideration was another painful one for Iranian banking, as international sanctions continued to exert huge pressure on the country’s ailing economy. 

Country risk: Iran’s prospects brighten on reform hopes
March 2016

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The sovereign is still high risk, but is improving in Euromoney’s country risk survey, underpinned by the recent election results.

Iran: Knocking on Tehran’s door


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March 2016
The lifting of sanctions meant a stream of international banks would make their way to Iran, right? Wrong. Some banks admit they are taking the first steps on the road to Tehran. Others might be, but they certainly do not want to talk about it. And in either case, there are plenty of barriers to getting there.


The curious case of JPMorgan and the $9 Iran trade
February 2016
When Iran Air needed some Boeing spare parts before sanctions were lifted, JPMorgan took the US side of the trade. Why and how?

Iran – History in the making
February 2016
It wasn’t quite John Simpson on the plane with the Ayatollah returning to Iran in 1979, but nonetheless Euromoney experienced a bit of history in January.

Banks frustrated as Iran’s Swift return is held up
February 2016

Sanction removal unveils Iran currency hopes
January 2016
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Iran is emerging from the shadows to re-establish itself as a prime player in the Middle East. Moves are afoot to rid the country of its black-market exchange rate and develop a working currency forward market.

Why banks will continue to snub Iran post sanction-easing
January 2016
The planned removal of some sanctions on Iran creates opportunities for transactional business, but reputational risks and compliance challenges mean the country will remain a no-go for international lenders.

Iran issues $300m equivalent domestic bond
November 2015
Interest rate of 26% for 165-day notes; international return inked in for 2016.

The future's bright, the future's inconvenient
October 2015
What's in a name? Plenty, it seems, if it's similar to one on a sanctions list.

US outlines rules for Iran
October 2015
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Overall clarity still lacking; US financial system firmly out of bounds.

The debt case for Middle East investment
September 2015
Saudi Arabia and Iran have been presented chiefly as an opportunity on the equity side, but both markets are attracting interest from the fixed income community as well.

Iran plots path from sanctions to action
September 2015
The country’s return to the fold of international finance is likely to be as long and winding as the road to the lifting of sanctions. But that hasn’t stopped forward-thinkers in Tehran’s financial elite plotting a vision for their banks and financial markets. Can it possibly live up to its billing in some quarters as 'the most exciting investment in the world’?

Iran: On the road outside the capital
September 2015
On the road outside the capital
Iran is big. Iranians are fond of telling visitors that it experiences four distinct climates at any one time, from snowbound mountains to deserts, and its 80 million people are spread across a multitude of diverse locations outside Tehran; indeed, the tourist industry, should it ever truly take off, will be pretty much everywhere but the traffic-throttled, daunting sprawl of the capital.

Iran’s long road ahead
August 2015
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The contingent lifting of western sanctions on the world's biggest untapped market has been met with cautious optimism by the financial industry.

Frontier investors prepare to enter Iran
August 2015
Well-functioning stock market; structural surprises still likely.

Iran's pivotal moment
September 2014
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The security crisis brought on by the rise of Islamic State could turn Iran from pariah to much-needed partner to the west. Financial sanctions have hit both Iran’s economy and its banks hard. Inflation is rampant, NPLs are soaring, while banks lack capital. Corporates can’t get the funding they need. Local bank chiefs are itching to open their doors once again to foreign counterparties. If sanctions are lifted, what will the world’s bankers find in Tehran and beyond?

Iranian banks take to the courts
April 2015
Mellat leads legal action against UK; lifting sanctions only half the issue.

Iran: Tehran turning point
September 2014
Iran and the west don’t have to be friends, but there will be big benefits from a rapprochement.

Bank strategy: Two ways to win the Middle East
September 2014
Some banks are national powerhouses, building out across the region; others are already regional players, with individual markets creating something greater than the sum of their parts.

The long business arm of the Iranian state
September 2014
After the Iranian Revolution overthrew the Shah in 1979 and the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini launched the Islamic Republic that exists today, there were a lot of assets the Shah and his followers had left behind as they fled Iran.

Ayandeh’s DIY mega-merger sets template for Iranian bank consolidation
September 2014
Few bank mergers anywhere in the world have been more ambitious than the one that created Bank Ayandeh in Iran in 2013. It combined Tat Bank with two other financial institutions and 10 credit cooperatives, and did so in a country that has absolutely no regulatory guidance for how to do it and where staff layoffs are all but taboo because of vast national unemployment.

Modern Middle East Bank shows there is no escape from sanctions list
September 2014
"What I’m trying to do," says Parviz Aghili, "is to set up a bank that is accustomed with what is going on around the world."

Banks of Iran: Six pieces of an Iranian jigsaw
June 2014

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Iran has a heavily populated and complex banking sector, with several large state-owned banks that hold most of the country’s assets and deposits and at least 17 privately owned banks that tend to be smaller but more nimble and entrepreneurial. Euromoney profiles six institutions that represent different parts of the picture.

Dubai: Waiting for a windfall from Iran
June 2014
Can Dubai take advantage of Tehran’s rapprochement with the US to once again become Iran’s de facto financial link to the world?

The changing face of Iran’s political risk post-nuclear deal
November 2013
As international sanctions on the country are loosened after the ground-breaking, albeit tentative, nuclear deal, Iran’s influence in the region will undergo dramatic changes, argues Emad Mostaque, of Noah Capital Markets.

Iran: Crippling sanctions tarnish Rouhani’s reform drive
July 2013
The economic situation in Iran is likely to deteriorate further as the west steps up its sanctions against the regime, say analysts at the Institute of International Finance.

Sanctions tumble down on cornered Iran
October 2012
Iran’s overall ECR score fell by 2.6 points since Q1 2012 to 24.2 in Q3 2012, resulting in a four-place fall on ECR’s global rankings to 143.

Iran: Tehran stocks boom
September 2010
TSE main investment focus; privatization continues to flow.